Historically, chemistry has been a male-dominated discipline, and seemingly, the contributions from women to this hard science are few and far between. Did women of the past not have the passion or the drive to excel in chemistry? Of course they did, but these women faced prejudices of their times. Women chemists of the past were forced to work harder to get the recognition they deserved, but even so, their findings were often overshadowed by those of their male peers; moreover, the ownership of ideas was often disputed.
Is it possible that women chemists of today still suffer from gender inequality? Pick up any issue of the European Journal of Organic Chemistry (EurJOC) and you will note that only a very small percentage of papers are authored by female chemists. Indeed, of the manuscripts submitted to EurJOC in 2010, only 16 % of them had a woman as the principal author.
Despite the scarcity of women in chemistry, there are of course success stories: A number of women hold key academic and industrial positions, and many have found their way onto editorial boards of journals and into other prestigious positions.
The possibility for women to excel in chemistry is only limited by perception.
The July issue of EurJOC is dedicated to female chemists—with all the manuscripts having a women as the principal author and an editorial by Jennifer O’Donnell, Deputy Editor, on Women in Chemistry—to illustrate the strength and depth of the contribution from women to chemistry. As well as covering the entire spectrum of organic chemistry, the issue contains special features such as Author Profiles of the female Board Members of EurJOC; and a Women in EurJOC section, where all contributing authors were asked to share their thoughts about women in chemistry.
- Women in Chemistry – Triumphs and Opportunities,
Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2011, 3541–3542.
- EurJOC Special Issue
For some other perspectives on women in chemistry, see:
- Specials issue and editorials by Diane Smith from Angewandte Chemie
- Special issue and editorial by Anne Deveson from Chemistry – A European Journal
- Maria Laura Bolognesi and Gloria Cristalli in ChemMedChem
- Chemistry—A European Journal & IYC 2011
- All Women in Chemistry Interviews on ChemistryViews
►see also the book European Women in Chemistry